Assault doesn’t require physical contact, but it requires more than just words in Georgia. Here in Atlanta, an assault allegation involves an attempt to commit a violent injury. When coupled with a physical act, simply placing another person in fear of receiving a violent injury can be enough for a simple assault.
A simple assault is a misdemeanor in the state of Georgia. It is simply an attempt to commit a violent injury on another person or a person’s act that places another person in fear of immediate harm. There is a reasonable apprehension of immediate harm that results in the focus of a simple assault case whether or not an alleged victim’s apprehension was reasonable. This reasonable apprehension is often the turning point in misdemeanor simple assault cases.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
An aggravated assault requires more the same elements of simple assault but with more harmful intent. It is an assault with intent to murder, rape, or rob that involves a deadly weapon or any object that can be used offensively against another person to harm them.
A person doesn’t have to have a gun or knife to be charged with aggravated assault. This aggravated intent can even include the use of a person’s bare hands. Their hands are especially relevant if they are charged with aggravated assault for attempting to strangle another human being. That is a very common type of aggravated assault in Georgia, especially in domestic cases involving strangulation.
Aggravated assault is a minimum of a one-year sentence and up to twenty years. Often, sentences in Atlanta for aggravated assault involve a fine of around a $1,000 and some combination of jail time in the county jail or prison. If it is more than a year, there is also an extensive probated sentence of often three, four, five or up to twenty years on probation.
A battery always involves physical touching or physical contact. An assault, specifically an aggravated assault, may also involve physical contact. Battery is broken down into different types where a person intentionally causes harm to someone; or they intentionally make contact of an assaulting or provoking nature with another human being.
In assault and battery cases, the alleged victim’s conduct and the words used by the alleged victim that cause a person to assault or batter that victim may be very relevant in providing a defense for the case.
The most serious type of assault and battery is aggravated battery. Aggravated battery occurs when someone maliciously causes bodily harm to another by breaking their limbs, rendering a part of their body useless, or causing a serious disfigurement of that other individual.
It is more rare that aggravated battery is charged because it is easier for a prosecutor to charge and convict with aggravated assault. Aggravated battery and aggravated assault charges carry the same penalties up to a maximum of twenty years. Aggravated assault is far easier for prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.